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12 March 1991 - Current

Page 80
7 October 1998
                         MacKILLOP FAMILY SERVICES BILL
                                 Second reading

  Hon. R. I. KNOWLES (Minister for Health) -- I move:
That this bill be now read a second time.
A new  Catholic child, youth and family services organisation,  MacKillop Family
Services,  came into existence in  July 1997. MacKillop  Family Services Ltd was
incorporated under the Corporations Law of Victoria on 28  April 1997. MacKillop
Family Services  is  a shared ministry  of  three Catholic congregations  -- the
Christian Brothers, the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of St Joseph.
Included in the new organisation are:

        Christian Brothers  Child, Youth and  Family Services  (incorporating St
        Augustine's  Family and Adolescent  Services, Geelong; St Joseph's Homes
        for Children, Flemington; St Vincent's Boys Home, South Melbourne);
        Mercy Family  Care Centre, North Geelong;  St Vincent de  Paul Child and
        Family Services, Black Rock; and
        St Anthony's Family Services,  Footscray;  St Joseph's Babies and Family
        Services, Glenroy.
The movement towards amalgamation was prompted by  the mutual conviction of  the
three religious congregations that:
        the  biblical  idea  of justice  continually  challenges  Christians  to
        respond to the poor and those in need;

        the  congregations   should  respond  to  the  needs  of  the  poor  and
        disadvantaged with  renewed  energy, informed  and strengthened by  good
        research, policy development and advocacy; and
        the  church,  in  the  Catholic  tradition,  should  continue  to  be  a
        disturbing, prophetic voice in today's society.
MacKillop Family Services continues the traditions and further develops the work
of  the  seven  agencies.   MacKillop   is   a  significant  community  services
organisation in Victoria, with an expenditure budget of more than $12 million in
the  current financial  year. It has a client  base exceeding  2000 and  has 300
professional and support staff assisted by hundreds of volunteers.
The agencies  have had  a long  history of service to children, young people and
families throughout the Victorian community.

Over the years there have  been a  number of  changes of  auspice and  location.
Significant changes in service provision have also taken place.
Melbourne's first  Catholic  orphanage, the St  Vincent de Paul  orphanage,  was
established in 1855. It remains on 
its original South Melbourne site although significantly changed from its former
large congregate care campus.
St Vincent de Paul Child and Family  Service  (Black Rock) is directly descended
from the  St Vincent de Paul orphanage. In 1861 the Sisters of Mercy established
a separate girls orphanage on an adjoining block of  land. In  1966 the  sisters
transferred to Black Rock and developed group homes and other services.
The Geelong Catholic orphanage of St Augustine's was founded in 1857.

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It moved to Highton in 1939 and to its current location in Whittington in 1988. The Sisters of Mercy established an orphanage in Geelong in 1862. It moved to Newtown in 1884 and later became known as St Catherine's. In 1928 it moved to Highton and in 1975 was relocated to its present site at North Geelong and named Mercy Family Care to reflect changes to its model of working. St Joseph's Babies and Family Services (Glenroy) is derived from the Broadmeadows foundling home established by the Sisters of St Joseph in 1901. It relocated to Glenroy in 1975 with the change from institutional care to foster care and family support services. St Anthony's Home for Children in Kew was established by the Sisters of St Joseph in 1922 to look after toddlers from the foundling home in Broadmeadows. The orphanage at Kew closed in 1976 and St Anthony's commenced a new community-based, family-centred program in the western suburbs, where it continues to operate from its base in Footscray. This long history of change in auspices, locations and service models has led to possible problems in establishing connections between those differently located, differently named institutions and the work currently being conducted by MacKillop. This legislation will effectively establish that all bequests, donations and trusts which were previously to be applied to a congregation or its agencies shall now be applied to MacKillop. Trustees and others will be satisfied that MacKillop Family Services Ltd is properly carrying out the charitable works previously conducted by the Christian Brothers, the Josephites and the Sisters of Mercy at various locations over many years. The purposes of this bill are: to provide for the vesting in MacKillop of certain property given for charitable purposes to the Christian Brothers, the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of St Joseph and certain agencies in connection with those services; to provide that certain gifts and trusts for charitable purposes do not fail but have effect as if made or declared to or in favour of MacKillop; and to enable MacKillop to establish investment pools for the collective investment of trust funds for charitable purposes. Under the governance of the three religious congregations the new organisation is providing a greater flexibility and range of services, ongoing research and more powerful advocacy for disadvantaged children, young people and their families. I commend the bill to the house. Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. M. M. GOULD (Doutta Galla). Debate adjourned until next day.